On November 10, the Egyptian government submitted a proposal for its contribution to the UN climate pact, in preparation for the December Paris Conference. Among the most important pledges was the government’s goal to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies by 2020, using four pillars: “set different prices for petroleum products based on energy generation efficiency; increase the efficiency of energy use; provide support to certain sectors to promote switching from conventional energy sources to clean energy sources; and apply the fuel subsidy smart card system to ensure that subsidies are received by target beneficiaries.”
The 2014-2015 fiscal year budget called for petroleum subsidy spending of LE100 billion. While energy subsidies were cut by the Egyptian government by around 30 percent in 2014, achieving the elimination of energy subsidies will be a difficult task.
The full Egyptian proposal focused on five pillars:
- Promote more efficient use of energy by end-users.
- Increased renewable energy usage.
- Use of locally-appropriate and more efficient fossil-fuel technologies.
- Create policies to increase energy efficiency.
- Phase out energy subsidies within 3-5 years, within industry and private consumption.
While the submission pledged to reduce emissions, clear proposals and targets were not offered. Lebanon, Algeria and Morocco did set targets for emission cuts. Wael Hmaidan of Climate Action Network, a coalition of NGOs, called Egypt’s pledges weak, in relation to other regional and international proposals: ““It is disappointing to see Egypt not taking this leadership role on the national level.”